This article originally appeared in the Hyde Park Herald
By Jeffrey Bishku-Aykul
As the 50th anniversary of the 200,000-strong Oct. 22, 1963 boycott against Chicago Public Schools overcrowding and then-superintendent Benjamin WIllis approaches, Kartemquin Films co-founder Gordon Quinn is directing a documentary on the event, and he is looking for Hyde Parkers who were involved in the historic school strike.
The half-hour documentary, “‘63 Boycott,” will feature a combination of footage of the protests he and his friends attending the U. of C. at the time shot with the intention of making a film, along with present-day interviews with participants.
Willis “did many things, but the thing that triggered the really big boycotts was when he put trailers [for Black students] behind the schools,” Quinn said.
“I see this as an incredibly historic event, a great civil rights demonstration,” added Quinn, who says he it resonates with the closing of CPS schools today.
Protest participants can share their stories and identify themselves in photographs posted on the film’s website, 63boycott. kartemquin.com.